Sustainable Environmental Conservation Trust Africa (SECTA) is a local non-governmental organization founded in 2011 that aims to protect and restore the environment in Zimbabwe. For the past years SECTA has done environmental education and awareness raising campaigns, restored degraded lands and equipped communities with sustainable livelihood skills such as agroforestry. SECTA has played a vital role in schools and community environmental education. SECTA believes in the “Catching them young” concept, to instill environmental behavior change in the youth. The organization uses the bottom up and Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approaches to community empowerment and for the uplift of extremely vulnerable, marginalized and poorest of the poor in the society. SECTA is working with youth, children and communities with the vision that they are agents of change and hold the key for a prosperous future and can sustainably develop the nation. For the achievement of this vision SECTA has launched Climate Smart Agriculture project in schools, Environmental Clubs, Sustainable Schools program, Assisted Natural Regeneration project and Regreening of Dangamvura Mountain, Nursery Tree establishment in schools and Youth Critical Thinking competitions (debates, quiz, spelling bee, public speaking, and art). Training on Community Environmental Action Planning and Climate Change training in ward 28 of Mutare rural district council. The competitions are run in high schools in six (6) provinces of Zimbabwe and national winners have competed in the region, Cameroun (2017), Tanzania (2018) and Ghana (2019) and in primary schools.
SECTA’s mission is to restore and protect the environment. It operates primarily through environmental education, research and awareness raising, capacity building of communities and institutions. SECTA facilitates community-led programmes for environmental restoration, conservation and sustainable livelihoods and provides training and support in climate smart agriculture, forest management, waste management, energy conservation, sustainable income generation and rehabilitation of degraded natural resources.
A world where people, are able to optimize their natural resource-base for a sustainable future.
- To educate the public and raise awareness on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
- To cultivate a culture of respect for nature.
- To help communities gain improved health and sanitation.
- To reduce risk of disasters and vulnerability reduction in communities.
- To promote sustainable community based natural resource management.
- Good governance and democracy.
- Protecting the environment and adapting to climate change.
- Women empowerment and respect for all kinds of cultures, values and heritages.
Although the entire community is the ultimate beneficiary of SECTA’s Programs and activities, the major thrust is on the youth and the vulnerable and marginalized community members.
SECTA is devoted to inspire dynamic participation of the communities in the development of the social, environmental and economic lives of the society through their involvement in decision-making, planning and implementation of activities. The interventions undertaken or planned by SECTA keep the aspects of sustainable development, gender, social harmony and accountability at the forefront.
- Climate Change and Environment Management
- Economic Strengthening (Livelihoods and Food security)
- Community Health ( HIV/AIDS, WASH, SRHR)
Strategy: Environmental Awareness Raising
SECTA raises awareness about the environment amongst communities, working with them to identify the environmental problems affecting their lives and livelihoods, and what they can do to conserve their natural resources for their future well-being.
- Public events on a provincial and national scale. SECTA organizes presentations and workshops to spread information among the wider community on environmental issues and problems in their own surroundings. The approach is one of many, intended to encourage a more environmentally sound and sustainable way of living.
- Environmental Education in schools. SECTA encourages schools and teachers to include environmental education in their extra-curricular teaching programs. SECTA organizes training for teachers and provides materials to enhance their capacity in the subject. SECTA also facilitates the formation of environmental clubs in schools, conduct sessions when required and provide support for activities such as tree nursery establishment, Adopt-a- site and school clean-ups.
- Community Actions. In the belief that sustainable development is only possible with full participation of all stakeholders, SECTA works with communities to form environmental action groups and encourage the development of action plans for the environment.
Advocacy, Networking & Research
SECTA raises awareness about the effect various operations have on the environment, including training and advocacy among institutions, government and businesses working in mining, industry and development.
- Advocating for the Protection of Nature. SECTA advocates for the protection of nature from community level to that of the Head of State. SECTA works towards raising awareness among policy and decision makers about environmental issues and the impact economic and development activities have on the environment.
- Environmental Forum for Action in Manicaland. SECTA is promoting the formation of an Environmental Forum consisting of all agencies and institutions working or involved with the environment in Manicaland and Zimbabwe at large.
SECTA is active in Mutare and does work with schools on debate competitions in the following provinces Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Harare Metro, Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Manicaland. SECTA does community projects in Mutare Rural District ward 28, specifically Matiza village.
Gender Relation & Development
Sustainable development is not possible without the empowerment of women and fostering of gender equality and equity. The active participation of women and the integration of gender issues into environmental policies and actions are critical determinants for the implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and the Sustainable Development Goals. Although the important role of women in environmental and sustainable development is broadly recognized, discriminatory structures and attitudes still contribute to deeply entrenched patterns of gender inequality in these areas. Global trends such as globalisation, privatisation and increasing environmental degradation, natural disasters and climate change, as well as persisting factors such as violence against women, violation of women’s human rights, the increasing number of conflicts and war, call for specific attention from a gender-environment perspective in programmes addressing sustainable issues.
SECTA programming is premised on people-centered development and thus a bottom up approach is used in formulating interventions and thus ownership is enshrined in the project formulation principles. Therefore, the organization believes that when interventions are initiated by the communities and implementation is led by them sustainability becomes an inherent issue in such projects. S.E.C.T.A believes in Asset Based Community Development and as such all its projects are driven by community based assets, this approach allows for communities to realize their capacities and employ them to better their situations and not to wait for external resources. External resources should come as reinforcements to already running projects and not the other way round.